Press release: Colour Therapy
In the short space of a year, colouring books for adults have become a world-wide obsession that shows no signs of stopping. As well as being an enjoyable pastime and a way to channel your creativity, the appeal of colouring books as stress relievers and mood enhancers is now recognised by psychologists as a form of art therapy.
Colouring in is now recommended for patients with all manner of medical conditions as well as their families. Whether someone is suffering from a broken leg, fighting cancer or living with chronic conditions such as colitis or diabetes, the therapeutic benefits of colouring in are widely seen. This is even more pronounced with mental health conditions.
Sally Austen, a consultant clinical psychologist, explains: “Colouring-in requires focus, it is quite meditative and mindful. You are completely in the moment, not ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. There is also – and this is probably quite significant – no element of competition or possible failure, which is quite rare these days.”
Colouring books for grown-ups can offer a great sense of achievement as one has to carefully colour between the lines. This activity fulfils a need for creativity that’s often lacking on the daily treadmill of life. Additionally, anyone can do it – there’s no special talent needed.
Business psychologist, Gary Fitzgibbon, comments on the nostalgic element of colouring in: “When people are under stress, they want to put their head in a place that reminds them of a time when they had no pressures and an environment in which everything was provided for them. For the majority of people, that place is their childhood.”
All of these calming elements give colouring books a broad appeal which is helping millions of people cope with symptoms ranging from mild anxiety to serious mental disorder. Numerous blogs and websites have sprung up professing the therapeutic benefits of the colouring-in trend.
InTheMidstOfMadness.wordpress.com is a blog by Lucy about the profound effects of facing a mental illness at age 24 and her coping strategies, such as adult colouring books - which she regularly reviews on her site.
The Recovery Bag Project - www.facebook.com/therecoverybagproject - is another example of how art therapy is being used to help those battling mental health issues. Polly Rogers is the 19-year old behind the project, which gives those diagnosed with mental health conditions a free recovery bag in the Swindon area.
The bag is a practical kit designed to help mental illness sufferers through their journey to recovery. Including creative and stress-relieving activities like colouring books, the bags offer their owners a hands-on, interactive strategy to help them manager their crisis points and enable them to stay safe. The bags also contain a notebook and pen, positive messages, stress relief toys and contact details of local organisations.
Showing the versatility of this form of art therapy, Mia Pelletier of Callander, Scotland - www.facebook.com/mia.pelletier - has designed a colouring-in book for adults and children which is being given, along with West Design colouring pencils, to cancer patients and their families.
Working with her local branches of Marie Curie, MacMillan Cancer Care and Kidney Kids Scotland, Mia is ensuring that these colouring books are giving patients and their families a valuable form of art therapy or simply something to do while they are in treatment sessions, day care centres, or waiting rooms in hospitals.
“West Design is proud to help Lucy, Polly and Mia by donating products such as colouring pencils to their projects,” explains Jo Bray, Director of Sales and Marketing. “We are also developing our own range of art therapy colouring books.”
West Design is the sole UK distributor Faber-Castell Art & Graphic coloured pencils and also distributes Michael O’Mara colouring books.